Confused by different standards I bought jeans in the States two sizes below what I thought my size was and returned home to find the jeans are big enough I could be five months pregnant and perfectly comfortable in them. What a waste of money.

I wonder how all these different size conventions around the world actually originated. 38 or M in Northern Europe, 75B in Scandinavia, 95B in France, 10 in Australia, something less than 8 in the US, XXL in Asia. Did everyone just start their own systems completely independently? Then why do the sizes always skip two – from 10 to 12, from 38 to 40?

Maybe I’ll try and boil the jeans. Aren’t jeans supposed to shrink, anyway?

5 thoughts on “sizes

  1. ghani

    You could always E-Bay your jeans? I’ve experienced similar clothing confusion, living between the US and UK. Now half of my wardrobe is in one set of sizes, and the other half another. If i gain or lose weight, I’m going to have an exciting time trying to figure out what fits.

    Strangely, some US clothes lines use odd sizes – I think it’s juniors clothes that usually do it? My favourite pair of jeans is a US 13, bought in the teenybopper section. I think they’re all just trying to make us crazy.

  2. scott

    Didn’t you try ’em on before you bought them?

  3. Jill

    Yeah, I did. So I guess either they’ve grown or I’ve shrunk.

    Oh well.

  4. diane

    What’s compounding your problem is size inflation. Or, actually, deflation. American women don’t like to buy clothes in sizes that seem too big, so retailers now slap size 4, 6, and 8 on clothes that ten years ago would have been at least a size larger.

    Clothes from the Gap and J Crew run very large, I have found, but clothes from little tiny boutiques on the Lower East Side are doll-size!

    If you’ve bought something from a major US retailer like the Gap, why not return it by mail, with the receipt, as if you’ve ordered it from the Web, and get a replacement or a refund?

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